So, You’re Moving in Together: Tips for Cohabiting Couples

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If you’re about to move in with your significant other, you can breathe a sigh of relief. In a Rent.com survey of 1,000 cohabiting couples, almost half said moving in together enabled them to spend more time with their loved one, and an endearing 32 percent said living together helped them realize they found “the one.” But before you plunge into the ups and downs of living together, you first have to tackle the move.

Consolidation Compromise

Consolidating your belongings will be one of the easiest adjustments you’ll have to make during this relationship changer. Determine which pieces of furniture don’t have a future at your new home. If space is limited, you’ll both need to compromise on what to take, sell or donate, which can feel like a risk for the person giving away his or her possessions. Sure, breaking up and moving out without a bed is a sensible concern, but moving in together is a risk in and of itself. Losing your bed or sofa is a material casualty and most likely, the least of your worries if you end up separating. Choose the best belongings for your new living arrangement as a couple. If you can’t part ways with that beloved coffee table, keep it in storage as insurance until you feel more stable in your relationship.

Declutter & De-Own

In any new relationship, you need to ditch the emotional baggage. Similarly, as you move in together, you should also throw away the extra baggage, literally. Reducing how much you own will energize and refresh both of you and help create a positive shared living space. Evaluate your belongings and free your life of purposeless possessions that inhibit healthy lifestyle changes and growth.

Permanently de-owning your meaningless possessions helps eliminate the desire to have more to feel fulfilled. Once you can remove yourself from the desire to possess more—once you can separate happiness from owning things—you’ll create opportunity for significant change to take place, shares Josh Becker, bestselling author of “Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids” and contributor for Becoming Minimalist. A more materialistically simplistic life reduces stress and creates serenity in your surroundings. Replacing stress with serenity will also help you maintain a healthy romantic relationship under one roof.

Go Pro

Carrying heavy furniture down multiple flights of stairs can strain any relationship, even if it’s just for the day. Make moving in together an exciting experience that isn’t tainted with arguments and exasperated sighs. Put the weight of moving furniture and boxes onto the shoulders of a professional moving company. With a little research, it doesn’t have to burn a hole through your wallet.

Collect a list of local moving companies and ask for a binding estimate (also known as firm binding or guaranteed price). A binding estimate will be the exact cost you’ll pay for moving services. Expected final charges won’t increase or decrease, whether or not the final weight is greater or lesser than expected. Keep in mind, an in-house estimate is typically a requisite to receive a binding estimate. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for special discounts and references. Check the company’s website for online reviews and ensure movers are licensed and insured. Good movers can even provide you with a list of packing tips.

New Home Essentials

Your new home will need a few essentials and a gender-neutral design theme (the pink peony shower curtain and Audrey Hepburn framed portrait will probably need to be replaced by a muted gray shower curtain and framed geometric artwork). Pack an “essentials” box that includes toilet paper, a shower curtain, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, a change of clothing and towel for each of you and garbage bags. Window blinds are a top priority for privacy, and make sure you pack your bedding in an easily accessible spot. Finally, don’t forget pet food and pet dishes, if needed.

Although moving can be an expensive change, set aside extra money to buy a few new items together, such as a fun kitchen gadget, new comforter to brighten up the bedroom or wall art to liven bare wall space.

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